With tourism accounting for a fifth of Malaysia’s GDP, the country’s hospitality sector is in turmoil.
Here’s a look at some of the key issues facing the industry.
Malaysia Tourism Minister Jaimie Ahmad Jafaruddin has warned that the country faces a “challenge” as more people are travelling to its islands to enjoy the country and its beaches, according to a report by the Reuters news agency.
“This challenge will continue to grow in the coming years and, more importantly, will take a toll on our tourism sector and on our economies,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.
The country has the world’s largest number of people visiting the country, accounting for 8.5 million in the latest data from the Bureau of Statistics.
Tourism accounts for half of the economy and Malaysia is the world leader in tourism.
Tourism accounts for nearly three-quarters of Malaysia GDP and accounts for around half of foreign direct investment.
In the past two years, the number of tourists has decreased from around 30 million in 2015 to around 25 million in 2018, according the Tourism and Cultural Development Authority of Malaysia.
More than 100 people have been killed in clashes with police in Malay-controlled parts of the East Java island of Borneo this year, according a report in the New Straits Times newspaper.
Ticketing has also plummeted as a result of a crackdown on illegal activities in the tourism sector, according in a report last year by the Asian Development Bank.
Many resorts and hotel chains are in financial trouble, while some businesses have been forced to close due to the clampdown.
On Wednesday, Malaysian authorities issued a warning that there was a “massive and growing threat” from the so-called “land grab”, a term coined by former US President Barack Obama in his 2009 State of the Union address.
While the land grab refers to the illegal harvesting of valuable land in Indonesia and the Philippines, Malaysia’s tourism sector is also the biggest employer in the country.
Since 2011, Malaysia has been a destination for more than 60 million tourists from around the world, according TOI data.
Despite the tourism boom, many of the countrys tourists are staying away due to an increase in drug-related crime and the rising number of crime-related incidents reported in major cities.
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